Gnocchi di carote (Carrot gnocchi)

IMG_1178.jpgIMG_2449.jpgI am not a great fan of potato gnocchi – I love to make them but I always find them dull to eat. I much prefer spinach gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi, bread gnocchi (called canederli) …and these delightful little carrot gnocchiwhich I discovered few years ago in Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Says. Her recipe makes for wonderfully cheesy, bright orange morsels and it is a winner. Over time, however, I have strayed from it, looking for a clearer, lighter carrot taste and adopting a simpler technique in shaping them (versus Hazan’s recommendation of  making quenelles, which are a bit of a bore to shape). Shocking the gnocchi in icy water firms them up and they are then easier to toss around in the frying pan with lots and lots of butter and sage.

Gnocchi di carote
Enough for 3-4 people

500 g carrots, peeled and halved
a splash of vegetable oil
60 g grated parmesan,  plus extra at the table
1 yolk
About 4 tablespoons 00 flour
nutmeg, a pinch
zest of half a lemon, grated
semolina flour to roll the gnocchi

Place the carrots in a large bowl, add the oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, toss them around until they are coated with the oil. Transfer them onto a parchment-lined oven tray and roast in a hot oven until they are very tender. Let them get completely cold.

Process them in a food processor, adding the parmesan, the yolk, the nutmeg and the lemon zest. The mixture should not be smooth and uniform – try to retain some texture. Lastly, add the flour, pulsing just to incorporate it.

Transfer the batter onto a plate and put in the freezer for 20 minutes: this will make the shaping much more manageable. Careful though: you do not want the mix to freeze, so check after the first ten minutes.

Lightly flour a surface with semolina flour and dump the mixture onto it. Sprinkle the top with extra semolina and pat the whole into a rough rectangle. Using a bench scraper, cut off small slices and roll them between under the palm of one hand into longer ropes, which are then cut into morsels – the size is really up to you.

Transfer the gnocchi onto a parchment paper-lined tray, sprinkled with a little semolina. You can either cook them right away or store them, uncovered in the fridge. You could also freeze them now by placing them in the freezer on a lined tray, without touching. When they are frozen hard, put them in a bag. Cook them from frozen in the normal way. I prefer to cook them all at once and then store the cooked gnocchi in the fridge, to be eaten in the next few days.

Fill a large, roomy saucepan (wider rather than taller) with water and bring it to the boil, salt it generously. Lower the heat: the water must simmer, not boil furiously. Have ready a large bowl filled with water and ice cubes. Pop the gnocchi into the simmering water and stir them gently for a few seconds. When they float up, give them another 20-30 seconds. Fish them out with a spider strainer and pop them into the icy water. Fish them out when they are cold and transfer onto a clean towel.  The gnocchi can now go into the fridge until you want to eat them.

In a large frying pan, melt a generous knob of butter with some sage. When everything is bubbling and smells delicious, add the carrot gnocchi and toss them around gently. Reheat them gently until very hot. Serve with extra parmesan.


12 thoughts on “Gnocchi di carote (Carrot gnocchi)

  1. ciao Stefano, sono arrivata qui tramite il sito di Frank Fariello,mi piace questa variante dei classici gnocchi di patate, è originale . A Trieste usiamo fare gli gnocchi di pane ma non li mangiamo come in Alto Adige in brodo, li condiamo con il sugo di pomodoro….Se ti fa piacere passa dal mio blog, buona domenica


    1. ciao Chiara, in questi mesi sto esplorando la cucina del nord-est: friuli, carso, trieste, zone di confine…. bella realtà. grazie per dritta sul tuo blog che ora guardo. ciao,ste


  2. Well, this is a new one on me, Stefano! I really want to make these and may set about doing so on one the cold, wintery afternoons that are sure to descend upon us. Leave it to Marcella to come up with this recipe and to you to bring it to us. Thanks for sharing another special recipe.


    1. ciao John, as I said the original recipe comes from her last book Marcella says (well, there is also the posthumous ingredients book actually….), which for few years I have sort of underrated and that I am now re-evaluating. It is a more personal book (than Essentials), a good follow up to the wonderful Marcella Cucina, perhaps even more homely. It is not as lavishly produced as Marcella Cucina but it is definitely an excellent cookbook, rather sombre I would say. Check it out.ste

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hazan’s work is truly amazing but do check out also Anna del Conte’s books – she is really wonderful. she has a warmer tone than Hazan and perhaps her books are more personal. she is 90something and still going strong. here in the uk, amongst lovers of good food, she is a sort of living legend and Hazan herself regarded her as an excellent cook-food writer (to the point that she offered Del Conte to take over her Bologna cookery school – great compliment coming from the notoriously rather hard to please Hazan)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The name rang a bell, so I went to my cookbook shelf and, lo and behold, I found one of her books, The Italian Pantry (1990). It’s an interesting book, as it’s organized around ingredients, as the name implies, as opposed to meal structure. It’s been literally years since I opened it up, I have to admit. And I think I may have another upstairs somewhere.


        1. I particularly like the one titled Entertaining all’italiana + a couple of years ago she published this delightful book about cooking with kids, which is really excellent: Cooking with Coco (coco being her grandchild). I am also partial to her because a) she is from Milano and b)when she came to our restaurant she paid me the best compliment ever: “Stefano cooks like me”, which made me feel really humbled and super proud.

          Liked by 1 person

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